The Honey Dance

Daddy John Stories

The Honey Dance

from Stories from the Land of Make Believe

by Daddy John (Fussner)

edited by his daughter Mary Frances (Fussner) Garrett

 

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 (photo by permission with thanks to Robert Schini)

One day Dough Doughy was lying out in the back yard, watching the clouds.  Did you ever look at the clouds and see different things?  If you look very close, you can see ‘most anything: fish, boats, faces, and lots of different things.  As Dough Doughy lay there, he saw a bee fly over.  It wasn’t a cloud bee but a sure-enough real one.

Now, whenever you see a bee, you think of honey, or at least Dough Doughy did, so right then and there, he decided to go honey hunting.  Hunting for honey is a good game for hot, lazy days if you live way out in the country.  Dough Doughy didn’t move.  He just stayed where he was until he saw another bee fly over.  It was coming from his flower beds.  You see, Mrs. Dough Doughy had many flowers, and the bees gathered the honey from them all summer.

Dough Doughy watched the bee as far as he could see it, which wasn’t very far, because a bee is so small.  Then he got up, walked to where he had last seen it, and dropped down on the ground to wait for another bee.  Now do you see why honey hunting is such a good game for a lazy summer day?  After about five minutes, he saw another bee fly over.  He watched it as long as he could see it, got up, and moved to another spot.

About three hours later, Dough Doughy was at the edge of Farmer Brown’s woods, about one half mile from where he had started.  From there, it didn’t take long for Dough Doughy to locate the tree the bees were using for a hive.  It was in the woods that belonged to Farmer Brown.  Who do you think the honey belonged to (besides the bees)?  Yes, it belonged to Farmer Brown, and Dough Doughy had no right to it.

Dough Doughy walked down a path that led around the woods to Farmer Brown’s house.  Farmer Brown was backing his tractor into the shed when Dough Doughy arrived.  When he was finished, Farmer Brown and Dough Doughy walked over to the well by the barn, and Dough Doughy pumped some water for Farmer Brown to wash his hands and face with.  Then they both took a big drink of cool well water.

Guess what they used for a drinking glass.  No, not a cup.  No, not a tin can.  They used a gourd dipper.  Did you ever drink cool well water out of a gourd dipper?  No?  Well, I don’t know where you’ll find a better drink.

Farmer Brown hung the dipper up on the pump and said, “ Water, God’s greatest gift to man!”

“ True, and for second best, how would you like to have some nice, fresh honey?” asked Dough Doughy.

“ Fine,” answered Farmer Brown.  “ Who has the honey?”

“ You do,” said Dough Doughy.  “ It’s in a big hollow tree at the edge of the woods where the cowpath crosses the ditch near the blackberry patch.”

“ I know just the tree you mean,” Farmer Brown said, “ but I didn’t think it was a bee tree.”

Then Farmer Brown went into a shed.  In a little while, he came out with a big bucket and a feed sack with something in it.  Dough Doughy and Farmer Brown then walked down the path to the bee tree.  When they got there, Farmer Brown opened the feed sack and took out two hats with nets on them.  He put one on and gave the other to Dough Doughy.

Next, Dough Doughy took the smoker out of the sack, opened it, took a piece of rag out of it, and lit the rag.  When it was smoking well, he put it back in the smoker and closed the lid.  Farmer Brown pulled the net down over his face and neck, tying it around his turned-up shirt collar.  Next, he put on gloves that came up over his shirt sleeves and were held on with heavy rubber bands.

“ No room for a bee to get to me now,” thought Farmer Brown, but he forgot one thing.  Can you guess what it was?  No, I’m not going to tell you now; we will just wait a little while and find out.  Farmer Brown picked up a small hand ax and climbed the tree.  Dough Doughy quickly put on his hat and gloves just as Farmer Brown had, and he forgot the same thing Farmer Brown had forgotten.  Have you thought of what it could have been?

Soon Farmer Brown had chopped a hole as big as a dinner plate in the tree.  Sure enough, the tree was full of honey.  He called to Dough Doughy to toss up the smoker.  Soon Farmer Brown was pumping the tree full of smoke.  The bees came swarming out, buzzing around Farmer Brown and Dough Doughy.  You see, the bees didn’t like anyone to harm their hive, and they were trying to find a place to sting Farmer Brown and Dough Doughy.

Suddenly, Farmer Brown yelled, “ Ouch,” and jumped out of the tree.  He started hopping around on one foot, slapping his other leg with both hands.  Dough Doughy started laughing, but not for long.  Soon he, too, was hopping around, first on one foot, and then on the other, slapping his legs with both hands.  The bees had found a place to sting, because Farmer Brown and Dough Doughy had forgotten to put their pants legs inside their socks.

After a few minutes of dancing and slapping, they were ready to start gathering honey.  Farmer Brown climbed up in the tree to fill the bucket.  Dough Doughy kept the smoker going, to make the bees sleepy.  Soon the bucket was full, and Dough Doughy and Farmer Brown were headed for home.  The bees settled down to work.  They still had a lot of honey left and several months before winter to gather more.

That night, two families in the Land of Make Believe had fresh wild honey with their supper.  Who do you think they were?  Also, two men in the Land of Make Believe had two legs apiece that were bee-stung and didn’t feel too good.  Who do you think they were?

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